Individual Sustainability.


A past blog post that caught my attention was titled “Sustainability, Redux” which starts off by prompting us “How would you define sustainability?” Then further asks us to examine the relationships between sustainability and capitalism, which are very big issues to tackle together. It then takes us to an older blog post Sustainability & Bucknell, talking about sustainability from a management perspective. When we think about these topics, I think we need look at it on a macro level and the other external factors in our society that capitalism may have caused discouraging our society and people to make unsustainable decisions.

I think in the US culture specifically, there is a sense of individualism that has been instilled within our culture. This creates a culture of people who worry more about their own individual self-interest and success. With the advancement of technology, our society is filled with various technologies, social media, and distractions that create a realm, where we view our own individual selves as the center of our lives. I may be saying that we are living in a society that is selfish, but this ideology is building a greater disconnect between the environment and ourselves. Our culture encourages individuals to be competitive with one another, fostering the need of out-doing the people around you. It is harder for the individuals in our society to look past their own needs unless it directly affecting them. We tend to care more about individual achievement and overlook the big picture of the correlation between humans and environment. Many individuals see social change as a bigger picture, but many who choose to pursue change in society don’t receive the instant gratification or see how it has impacted the bigger picture. This is the point in time when individuals choose to step down from the throne and just conform to our societal norms.

Some questions I have for people to think about are:

  • What are some things that we can do for our larger society to look past our individual needs to see the connection development, sustainability and growth?
  • Are there deeper issues that we need to tackle first for individuals before we address the bigger picture?
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One thought on “Individual Sustainability.”

  1. The idea that the beginning of reaching more sustainability is rooted in culture, as opposed to economics or policies, is a theme a reading we do later picks up, “The Problem of Sustainablity” by David Orr. One of his points is that the urge to dominate nature through technology is as old as the Bible or the enlightenment.

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